Crisp County Power Commission feels the heat

Published 2:02 pm Tuesday, August 2, 2022

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by Kerri Klatt, managing Editor

If the air of temperature is too high, the high temperature protection mechanism within a cell phone will trigger. This trigger will cause your cell phone to shut off. The equipment that maintains the counties power is no different. “The system is in stress during the summer because all of the electrical equipment, whether it be in your home or elsewhere, is sensitive to heat,” said Michael Ivey, General Manager of the Crisp County Power Commission. Much like when the cell phone overheats. “Usually summer is our worst with issues as far as capacity constraints,” said Ivey, “and what the equipment can handle, and that is why our costs go up.” There are many reasons the counties power rates increase during the summer season. Those reasons include the cost of generators are more expensive, the equipment is under more stress, and the capacity constraints are increased during the summer season.

The Crisp County Power Commission serves the county with about 9,000 residential and 3,000 commercial customers with an estimated population of 23,000. “We can put more load on the equipment in the winter because the outside air is helping to cool the equipment down and so we can deliver more power with less equipment,” said Ivey, “and with the summer it is reversed.” The generator units used in the summer season also cost more to maintain and use. “These are the expensive fuel units,” said Ivey, “and so those cost more.” The equipment is under more stress during the summer season as well. “As it heats up, it takes more and more equipment to deliver the power,” said Ivey, “even the same amount of power that is delivered in the winter time, so cost purchases are higher in the summer.” The capacity constraints are also increased. “The system is being totally utilized during the summer,” said Ivey, “and that is when the expense happens.” The power rate increases are similar to the increase in gas prices throughout the United States. “It is like anything in high demand,” said Ivey, “it cost more, and that is what we see here in the summer.” According to the State of Georgia Public Service Commissions 2021 residential rates survey, Georgia Power Company charges were $65.76 with $0.1315 cents/kWh, the CC Power Company charges were $61.68 with $0.1234 cents/kWh and the Sumter Electric Membership Corporation charges were $77.41 with $0.1548 cents/kWh. Kilowatt-hours is the unit of energy equal to the energy consumed in the circuit at the rate of 1 kilowatt for 1 hour and is used as a measure of electrical energy.

There are several options for county residents interested in reducing their summer power rates. For example, there is a residential senior citizen rate where if the account holder meets the qualifications of a low-income household that resident can have the base rate waived. Another option available includes pre-pay metering, which can assist in conserving the energy used by allowing its customers the ability to monitor usage and can be displayed in 15-minute intervals. This gives customers the flexibility to see how the usage pattern correlates over time and temperature and can be utilized to make an effort to lower usage and conserve. The Power Commission also offers residential audit services that citizens can utilize to gage usage. The audit lists initiations residents can do to proactively reduce usage. One example is to use a fan to circulate air. “Circulating the air,” said Ivey, “will help you feel cooler and can drop the body’s temperature by three degrees.” Other initiatives include:

*Keeping the windows covered to block out the sun

*Replace air conditioning unit filters regularly

*Making sure the home is properly insulated

*Ensure that the water heater is properly working and maintained to ensure that water is not heated continually

*Make sure the contact on wells is proper and maintained as well as checking for leaky toilets. A leaky toilet will trigger the well to consistently come on and off, generating power.

“We have a list of those things as part of our energy audit,” said Ivey. The options for residents to take proactive measures can be utilized and accessed easily. For more information, individuals can visit the Crisp County Power Commission website at: Individuals can monitor usage by utilizing the online portal, the free mobile app., or by contacting the Customer Service Department at: 229-273-3811.